Apparently, I am supposed to spend $114,500 on vacations over the next 50 years

in writing-help •  5 months ago


If you’re like me, you read plenty of articles on the Internet. I still prefer reading articles to watching videos, which are a bigger time-waster (when you prefer to get the gist of something briefly, sorting quickly through any verbal diarrhea, and then move on). Some articles have click bait titles that seduce a reader to click on them. And like a lot of people, I’m a sucker for beautiful islands. So I clicked on an article that promised, “100 under-the-radar islands everyone should visit in their lifetime.”



Most such articles are sad excuses for a slideshow, how-many-times-can-we-get-you-to-click-on-our-site-so-we-can-sell-more-ads. This one, to its credit, fit all of its photos on one long page.

The article has plenty of pictures of nice islands to visit. And I have no issue with the text, which is okay. But the title is detestable. It is so bad that it has prompted me to write this post about language. Specifically, consider the proper use of certain words if the author does not wish unintended consequences.


Timeout for this Author to Take a Deep Breath

You may become increasingly convinced that I am a language snob. This is true; I am. If you are familiar with the book Eats Shoots and Leaves, it is a modern classic, containing some basic help for aspiring writers. In the following passage, Eats author Lynne Truss addresses how language snobs view poor use of language:

To those who care about punctuation, a sentence such as “Thank God its Friday” (without the apostrophe) rouses feelings not only of despair but of violence. The confusion of the possessive “its” (no apostrophe) with the contractive “it’s” (with apostrophe) is an unequivocal signal of illiteracy and sets off a simple Pavlovian “kill” response in the average stickler. The rule is: the word “it’s” (with apostrophe) stands for “it is” or “it has”. If the word does not stand for “it is” or “it has” then what you require is “its”. This is extremely easy to grasp. Getting your itses mixed up is the greatest solecism in the world of punctuation. No matter that you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice. If you still persist in writing, “Good food at it’s best”, you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave. --Lynne Truss, Eats Shoots and Leaves, Avery (2004)


Yup. Though I’ve never considered myself a grammar or punctuation fascist, I am slightly obsessive-compulsive when it comes to using words well. And that quote from Truss, above, illustrates how I feel when I see the language butchered. I am her “average stickler”. I have good patience for amateurs and second-language learners, but not for so-called professionals. Someone writing a big article and presumably getting paid for it should have a proficient command of the English language.

Of course, the possibility remains that the title was supplied by an editor who slapped it on there after the piece was written and submitted. That scenario is even worse, but it would not surprise me either. If the title came from an editor, that person has no business serving in such a position.

Let us take that title and knock some holes in it

Just so you don’t need to go back to Paragraph 1 to re-read it, the title is: “100 under-the-radar islands everyone should visit in their lifetime.” Maybe I’ll start by taking my fly-swatter and whacking out the word “everyone”. “Everyone” can best be defined as roughly 7.6 BILLION people who live on the planet earth. That’s a whole lot of people taking vacations!

Second, let us focus on that phrase, “should visit in their lifetime”. “Lifetimes”, you mean? “Their” suggests plural and we already know it’s supposed to refer to the entire population of planet earth. Using “should” creates either an obligation (as it is most commonly used) or a heavy suggestion. Either way, the reader feels bullied.


More importantly, what concerns me is that even if the title is directed at just one person (me, for example), it instructs that person to do something inhuman:

I have to visit 100 little-known islands before I die?

Here are some issues with that proposition.

1: Time required.

Let’s say I work full-time at a job in the United States. For the fortunate among us, many such jobs offer two weeks of vacation per year. These suggested islands are far-flung, all across the world. A few might be fairly close to home, quick trips of a few days, including travel time. Others, especially obscure islands in other parts of the globe, may take a week just to get to and from, much less any days to spend time there.

So we’ll keep it simple and allow one week for each trip. Two weeks of vacation time means visiting two islands per year.


Visiting them all will take me 50 years.

That’s a lot of travel.

2: Cost.

The cost of an average vacation trip is $1145, as calculated last year by a travel organization. That’s probably a low estimate when we’re talking about trips to islands, some of which are remote. Getting to islands can require an extra travel leg (or two or three) than most vacations do. Some are only accessible by boat. Cha-ching. And don’t bother taking anyone else along on your 100 vacations for the next 50 years.

Total cost of visiting these 100 ‘must see’ destinations before you die: at least $114,500, not accounting for inflation between now and the end of your bucket list. Most of the population of planet earth could not afford that in a lifetime. I'll bet the author or editor who penned that title probably couldn't afford to visit 100 islands either.


When you write something, please think about what the words mean.

Instead of “everyone” (defined by the entire earth’s population), how about “you”? Instead of “should” (which is awfully pushy and imperative), how about “should consider”? Change “visit” to “visiting” and convert the pronoun appropriately. An acceptable title, then, could be something like “100 under-the-radar islands you should consider visiting in your lifetime.” Ah, that makes me feel much better. The world has been healed. Now I can sleep soundly.



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Not to write a 500 word response to your predicament ill just drop a photo that solves all your problems. You are welcome. 😇🎻


We just need the smell-a-tron and a wind machine and you'll feel like you are on an island while sitting at your couch lol


Are you sure it won't give me a headache? :)


Well i think the headache of putting aside 114,500 Dollars to visit some islands is considerably more painful. 😆

I am like you. I do not like videos. I feel that time passes by too fast. However, it seems that the majority of humanity like videos.


That's what Facebook and other sites have concluded. Personally, I'd rather read something than watch most of the junk I've seen, but I enjoy good quality videos.

Should have probably titled it "If looking for an island vacation, pick one of these"

These days I don't get that exposed to clickbait title because I no longer frequent sites that use them, the only place where I could possibly find clickbait these days but I've curated my subscriptions so much that it never happens anymore.


Good for you. I'm too cheap for most subscriptions.

hahaha you are right sir, sometime people use click bait to grab the attention of the user, some time they Sensationalize the title to grab the attention.

Though you are busy in your day job but sometime it's necessary to take rest, which give you peace and happy moments.


Happy moments. I like that.


Glad you like it :) My prayers are with for your world tour! Don't forget to share it with us ;)

To visit all the islands is certainly impossible, but at least a couple of islands we can afford?


I'd love to visit a few of them!


Oh, I would too

Hahah...@donkeypong loved it 👌 you can be a good grammar teacher..👍 how easily you took out something which noone ever think upon.
I belive those phrases were especially made to dupe people or to get attracted towards such beautifull looking islands....though there must be many hidden messages .in each phrases..which needs ro be taken care by the customers Reading your eatimation first created a it can be so accurate..but now i underatand the logic behind it.....

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Lol, you sound pissed @donkeypong. Am sure the writer barely considered those points when writing, it is becoming a thing to casually write for writing sake.

The math of 100 such vacations really made my head spin. AAssuming I do have the time, the current me will barely be able to afford more than twice in my whole


Oh, I'm just having fun. Never pissed. :)

Well, @donkeypong any language looks perfect with the cent per cent perfect usage of grammar. This rule should be applied those whose mother and official language is same and thanks for giving a soft corner those who are not master of the language yet like me. But this mistake should not be forgiven and i am fully agreed with the author Lynne Truss :D

Good food at it’s best”, you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave.

Most of the authors really do not know that their words really effect the readers. You are right this much amount may not come to affordability criterion of one's whole life. With this amount I would like to make the language institutes so that Earth can see many more authors like Lynne Truss. I hope so you will be sleeping now in a very sound way, Sweet Dreams :)


Haha. That's true. Thanks for the comment.

Lolz, I had no idea Eats Shoots Leaves was about that. I'd heard it was funny but now I want to read it really badly. Ahem, Amazon!

I also think that people who write and say would of, when they mean would have, should be struck by some galloping bubonic or wandering space rock or something!

Though I must say that I didn't take offence to the title until you pointed out its rude and demanding syntax. I almost wrote it's just for a laugh there, but my inner OCD just wouldn't let me.

Two grammatical errors that I myself commit all the time, which when I read back my work has me reaching for the barbed underwear and the self flagellation whip. Is when I write to when I mean too and no when I mean know.

I've even been known to write new when I meant knew and right when I meant write.

Strike me down!

And yes I know my sentences are often too long. And yes I know you shouldn't start a sentence with the word and . . .




And that was the rest of the story! Thanks for reading, thinking, and analyzing. :)


Welcome; these are definitely my favourite @donkeypong articles, where you are observational, lighthearted and educational all in one bundle. :-)


Firstly that pug is a charmer lol, the "should" used even sounds compulsive to me, however, the reconstruction does the trick with "should consider". Thanks sensei

Friend, how are you? your analysis of that title that you saw on the internet kept me trapped during the whole reading, you have so much reason to put a title without thinking it for me it is only publicity but if we all did analysis to things to titles so surely we would write a script as excellent as yours

I do not like to watch videos I prefer to read, and if I put videos are of music while I do my chores

Of all the imajenes that you place to illustrate your post I am with the prime jajajajajaajajajajajaja

You are right @donkeypong, we should be more careful in how we write. Some time ago people took for fashion to write the phrases all cut to speed up the text on cell phones, that has remained as usual and do not know the damage they do. They write the "X" to say "by" or "to", I could never read such a text. Once a friend returned a letter I sent him when he went to military service and that hurt me, but now I thank him because I decided to improve my spelling.


Good for you. Yes, those of us who are older than cell phones have a slight peeve with people writing articles in text message-speak also. :)

hahahaha I love how you spent so much time on just the title alone. I cringe at the thought of you tearing apart my posts. haha. Okay back to being a grammar Nazi, can I say that, grammar Nazi? Anyways, one of my favorites..."How are you?" "I am doing good" Maybe instead you mean "I am doing well" haha, or be safe and say "I'm good." or "I'm well." But then again who knows, I may be way off as well. haha


Yes, people make mistakes commonly with that one. I've learned to accept that 'good' is colloquial (and thus I'll tolerate it). But when someone answers 'well' he or she gets some extra points in my mind.


hahaha I used to say "good" all the time, until my grammar nazi journalist friends started correcting me all the time, now I am pretty good at saying "well" lol see what I did there. lol

The boss @donkeypong, I am so sorry replying this late this is due to bad network because of the heavy rainfall over here.

A lot as talk about Using pictures to summarized gist to make work or sentence more easy. But on mine own opinion I am very comfortable to read your long sentences than the picture, WHY? Because I am here to learn.
I feel more joyfully to learn new words and know the different presentation methods from other part of the global. For example the @donkeypong articles and other steemians as well.

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That's why I prefer sites like

They put up these pictures simply to appreciate its form of art and culture. I particularly like the ones on interior design.


I'll have to check that one out. Thanks.

Yeah, exactly. I had enough of these kinds of travel inspiration titles, no matter it's the 50 cities you need to visit, or the 100 beaches you need to visit. So predictable, why should we visit them exactly! haha

But, Faroe Islands is good :p

Thanks for the grammar lessons btw!


Looking at their recommendations, many of them are good. But I still didn't care for the title. :)

After reading this I noticed you made more sense than the person who wrote that title. i think it's time for you to replace that person hahaha. Imagine if everyone in the world read that article and decided to go to those islands at the same time, those islands may end up closing after. That costs a lot of money but hopefully CRYPTO would make us that rich! hahaha

THank for sharing! I enjoyed reading that. Have a wonderful day!


My first guess would be that an editor put the title on there, but it could have been the writer.


Oh yeah I kinda forgot about the editor it may be that person, but oh well. Hopefully they do a better job hahaha

Thank you! I am a language snob and proud of it :)

“100 under-the-radar islands you should consider visiting in your lifetime.”

I literally felt my shoulders relax when I read that. Seriously, thank you, although you are preaching to the choir; hopefully this doesn't fall on deaf ears.


You're my kind of person! :)


If you ask me, the world needs more kind of snobs like us :)

i wish to have 1/3 of this mooney for vacarion.....hope you have a great time......greetings from greece

Believe me i have been to vacations only on 60$ ...and i had ate alot and enjoyed toooo


Locally or regionally, there is a lot you can do on a small budget. When you are traveling to far corners of the globe, the airfare and hotel costs will eat you alive.

I have hope that steem will found our adventures in the future :)


Maybe someday.


Great! Such a valuable post. I appreciate with your work 👏👏

Good idea. You should be with someone who has similar tastes and goals as you. Good luck brother. , thanks for posting! Great guideline!

Stay safe out there you are very precious I have nieces that are around your age I wish I could just reach through the screen on my phone and give you a big hug big but a gentle hug. Thanks for share dear

Please be careful while traveling to Islands , sometimes it can be a dangerous place especially in certain areas of Islands City.

good effort... I'm a frequent traveler, your post gave an idea about the list of destinations which can travelled on a low budget.

You are totally right who in their right mind would not want to vacation in the most beautiful places in the world but this is the labor factor as you mention in addition to the obligations that come with living as a family and friends added to your own budget I live in Venezuela I am satisfied with my country and nearest tourist entities but I will not skimp on any opportunity when it comes to seeing other countries like the United States as long as the Venezuelan inflation does not continue to eat me hahaha thanks for sharing

Hello @donkeypong sir how are you?Thank you, Sir, how are you, hope you are good at your regular post. Your post is awesome. Your post is very respectable to me, I respect your post and I respect you very much, I can learn something new from your new post and nothing new about it. You can learn a lot, thank you very much.

Traveling means a sense of life. Know the whole new earthquake. Whether it is mountain or sea, orange, or lanes of the city, food, soil odor, oozes, or tidal waves, and rainy green or snowy white hills, lying on the night with star eyes, culture, people's lives are very close. To see, to spend with them a few days like them, this is the purpose of the journey.

Hi @donkeypong, Absolutely if your idea being serious you already got blaster decision. Traveling to another places increase our life feelings and connect with others. If you're go to visit island you'll fear condition. Never peoples around are. But I love to my nearest place for vacation.

Very well written. I like to travel very well. I wish everyone to travel together. But the environment acknowledged. Wherever I want to go, there are obstacles. Your posts are very cool. I love it very much

Thank You

Its really very big donation great 👍

There is nothing better than travelling to different countries and discovering different cultures. It is one of my dreams to travel and see every country on this planet.

Thanks @donkeypong for such interesting and informative post!
I enjoyed reading it

thanks for sharing! I can't see my life without traveling, so thanks for bringing some good ideas.

Lol at how all sites these days are crappy slide shows that generate more views and accidental clicks. Definitely one way to think about click bait lists like this though. 100 is usually too daunting for me to click on the article at all!

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I totally agree that punctuations are important when writing. Its proper use could make a huge difference in the meanings of sentences and avert what could otherwise have been a war. Imagine writing "let's go and eat grandma" instead of "let's go and eat, grandma". Though English is not my first language, I know enough to properly communicate.

Hi donkeypong, We also have some cool islands in Uganda. I'm sure you'd love them.

A useful post for education and steemian all, I'm happy for you. posting about rare species and must be protected, but this includes unique species and is good at making friends with humans. always success...?

maybe they want people to join the Navy.

@mukhtarilyas, posts that add insight and enlightenment @donkeypong, success is always for steemians.

Hello my dear sir @donkeypong thanks a lot sharing this most valuable content,

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Right there with you, some of those grammatical errors drive me nuts. Which is why I'm doubly nuts when I see a mistake that I've let slide by in my own writing. ;-)

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Ya no problem its oke aja lah

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nice to see person who like to read book.Money required for tavel is good.But don't you think it is more ? @donkeypong

Hahahahahahaha. I think you're right. Sometimes an article is not read because it has a bad title or vice versa. We don't pay attention to these things because we think they're insignificant, not realizing that just like when we go to look for a job, what's on top is the first thing they see. This is a very good recommendation! I hope you'll follow her. Thank you for sharing!

it looks like a head. I want a camel, hehe is very good

A lot of us need editing in our post, and the need to send the post to an author for review easily get swept under the carpet. Everytime I see the need to have someone run over my blog and tell me what's missing. But none.

I can relate very well with the owner of the blog. I've made such mistakes before too. Thanks to the steemit community, am getting better by the day.

A lot of us need editing in our post, and the need to send the post to an author for review easily get swept under the carpet. Everytime I see the need to have someone run over my blog and tell me what's missing. But none.

I can relate very well with the owner of the blog. I've made such mistakes before too. Thanks to the steemit community, am getting better by the day.

I completely agree, man they just tickle your nerves in hope of getting just the click which would make them earn an amount of money but they doont give full attension to the satisfaction of the reader.

hello @donkeypong why u dont give me upvote everyday like another person ?

Now i can understand ur beautiful post

Welcome at Morocco You can enjoy the sun, sea ,mountains and animals all without spending much.

Very nice. I like your writing. I want to read more from you.

I thought it was annoying how @dnkyp kept talking over Lolly and kept mimicking her while she was talking ! ... have some common decency and manners ! You don't always have to talk or grasp attention let others speak as well. Found this annoying and wanted to point it out.

But yooo @dnkyp Chill with dem ads tho otherwize imma have to truth or dare (only dare for you) wakanda sound nak put nak your nak booty nak on nak twerk nak mode nak for nak a nak full nak 24 nak hours. Bom-nak-bo-nak-clat!

Steem on!

ahaan good to know that and my best wishes are with you, But here i want to say something, $114,500 a huge amount of money, If possible, keep some aside to help the needy:) It will give you inner happiness :) just try it.


You should try reading more than the headline before you comment. You never know, you may even enjoy it!



Comment of the day, CG. Thanks. I think of some posts as a test.


Enjoyed it!
I didn't read it at first But now did!

Yes I hope you go around in many places. And in many places may have turned around. But if you have never come to Bangladesh's Cox market then you can visit it once for a while. Here you will love it very much, I can say it very well.

'Punctuation Fascist' May I adopt this as my term of the week, it's brilliant!